Africell Uganda is sadly exiting the market. What next?

In July, we posed a tough question on the future of Africell Uganda in the very competitive market. At the moment, we were relying on lots of speculation and corridor talk that the company was on the brink of leaving the market amidst challenging times resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is now apparent that Africell Uganda Limited will be exiting the Ugandan market after seven years of service, as per NilePost reports.

The site quotes the company’s announcement to its employees to which it points at the first week of October being the last for it to serve its customers.

“Africell UG will stop services on October 7, 2021 . The decision is being made in the long-term interest of the Ugandan telecom sector. We believe that the opportunity to achieve this impact is increasingly limited. We have therefore taken the difficult decision to permanently end Africell UG’s operations in Uganda.”

A survey about the future of the brand in Uganda revealed that they can no longer achieve the dream of impacting through a digitally-led transformation of society and consequently, the need to pull out of the market.

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What next for Africell Uganda?

By April 2020, the company’s website was indicating the number of subscribers was over 3,000,000 and this is expected to have grown. However, as of September 8, 2021, Africell Uganda is no longer accepting new customers. The company says that, in the next month, it will be helping current customers switch to other operators.

We, earlier, told you that our sources revealed that MTN Uganda could take on Africell without any fuss. Since the start of private telecom operations in the country, the yellow telecom has been mostly silent as Airtel has done the bigger part of acquisitions. Taking over what appears to be the third-largest telecom company could mark another chapter in the dominance of the telco industry that the two companies have professed.

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What happens to the employees?

The company assured its employees that whereas it ceases operations in October, their employment will go on until November 2021, and they will be paid all their due salary and benefits. Additionally, the company will offer severance pay and payment of unused annual leave allowance.

The company noted that each of the employees would be contacted by the human resource manager to explain their specific packages.

“Although Africell regrets the immediate impact this decision will have, we believe it is a justified long-term transition and we are closely supporting affected employees and customers.”

Africell Uganda joined the Ugandan market in 2014 after taking over Orange Telecom operations. The company – which is also present in Gambia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Angola in Africa – has had a tough journey since the start of the year in the Ugandan market and numerous reports have always insisted on its being on the brink of collapse.

According to insiders with knowledge about the dealings of the company, losses incurred by the company and debts necessitated its immediate exit from the Ugandan market that it entered seven years back.

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